Writers as Political Activists

Ellen Wiles, Benedict Schofield
Event date
Event time
Event type
Student Gateway
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Literary-Political Networks and Organisations

17 July 2020, 2pm

The papers and discussions in this webinar will shed light on the ways in which authors make use of, and rely on, institutions, organisations, and networks as platforms and frameworks for their activist interventions. Ellen Wiles reveals the impact and resonance of live literature events as forms of literary activism. Drawing on her experiential literary ethnography of the Polari Salon, she outlines the ways in which the Polari Salon deploys literary performance as a fruitful means of strengthening LGBTQ+ community bonds and as a form of activism. Benedict Schofield takes a comparative perspective on the transnational literary-political networks that frame and sustain the engaged authorship of Scottish authors A. L. Kennedy and Ali Smith as well as Austrian authors Katrin Röggla and Robert Menasse. He argues that for these writers the fracture of Europe not only prompts a literary reflection of the European crisis, but triggers active interventions into political discourse.